7-inch ‘Surface Mini’ planned for 2013

surface and iPad

surface and iPad

According to a tip sent in to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is now in the process of creating 7-inch Surface tablets. The sources say that Microsoft had no ambition to release a smaller Surface, but faced with diminutive tablets such as Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad Mini, the Redmond-based giant had no choice. PC and laptop sales are rapidly declining. It’s a numbers game and one that Microsoft is desperate to bolster.

Analyst firm IDC said that 50% of all tablets shipped in fourth-quarter 2012 were smaller than 8-inches. It’s a telling sign. Users want lighter, thinner. They demand portability without cutting the quality of the device. Apple and Google have provided this. Microsoft, not so much.

The numbers game

Microsoft’s goal of unifying tablets, desktops and laptop computers with the release of 2012’s Windows 8 was not an outright failure, but it didn’t set off any fireworks either. Some have gone as far as to say that Windows 8 is destroying the PC market entirely, and blames the nascent OS on its rapid descent into oblivion. Sadly, IDC kind of confirms this in a report that shows a 14-percent drop in PC sales. This represents the lowest descent since 1994.

Sales of the surface aren’t much better either, with only an estimated 1.5 million Surfaces sold. Compare this to the iPad Mini, which is well on its way to 55-million sales.

There’s been an explosion of 7-inch tablets, and it’s an area that Microsoft hasn’t been keen to capitalise on. As tablets continue to dominate the computer market, sales of laptops and PC’s will continue to drop and Microsoft will attempt to claw back from oblivion, using a 7-inch tablet as its climbing pick.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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